Carlton South Public School began as an Infants school in 1922 when the population increased due to the residential development of the St George area. The establishment of a new school was approved by the Minister for Public Instruction in 1919 and steps were taken to secure a site for the school. Two acres were purchased from Messrs Taylor, Coates, English and Peatfield at a cost of 1500 pounds. Plans for the school building were prepared, but the lack of finances delayed the construction and alternative schooling arrangements were made. The committee of St Cuthbert’s Church heard of the Education Department’s problems and offered the use of their hall. The first lessons for Carlton South Infants School began on 28 August 1922 under the supervision of Miss A. Cook.
By March 1923, tenders were invited for the construction of the school building on the already acquired site. The tender of Mr W. Jemison of Bexley for 6837 pounds was accepted and work soon began. It provided accommodation for 111 Infants and 192 Primary pupils.
The school was officially opened in 1924.
But this was not enough. The building had been planned for an expected enrolment of 300 pupils and by the end of 1924 there were 600 children on the roll. As a result, St Cuthbert’s hall continued to be used, and was an annexe of the main building until March 1927 when classes moved out of the hall into the new additions built in 1926. This new building added six new classrooms to the school, but still enrolments outnumbered accommodation.
In 1928, five classes were being conducted in the assembly halls in the school. To meet this accommodation problem, two portable buildings, containing two classrooms each, were moved to Carlton South. At the same time, the Department’s architect was requested to draw up plans for an additional ten classroom building for the Infants department. The depression deferred its construction until 1932-1933. The extensions were to consist of an Infants classroom block, Infants weathershed, two Primary weathersheds and additional toilet facilities
Only with these extra classrooms did the accommodation finally catch up with enrolments. The classroom block was a two-storeyed building with a tiled roof, and contained nine classrooms, kindergarten room, headmistress’s room and staffroom. The playground had also been improved with the provision of paved areas, lawns, retaining walls and bubblers.
Various other site additions were acquired until the area of the school totalled four acres. The enrolments continued to increase and by 1951 there were 1 124 pupils under the control of 29 teachers. The lunch times were staggered to get the greatest benefit from the playground facilities and equipment. The park opposite the school was also used for lessons.
In 1971 the allotment was added to the school grounds. This area was cleared in 1972 and trees were planted for a nature area. 1973 was the Golden Jubilee year for Carlton South.
St George Leagues Club has used Jubilee Oval opposite the school for many years as their home ground. Football parking in the school grounds began in 1974. Parents and teachers have worked together in this fund raising activity which has provided many necessary resources for the school.
1977 saw some changes to the school. A new canteen was built and the buildings were given a new roof and the chimneys removed.
The current sport house names were first used in 1979. They were based on the language of the local aboriginal tribe. They are Allunga – sun – red; Goonagulla – sky – blue; Inderwong – star – yellow; Pallano – moon – green.
A class for students with special needs was established in 1982. These children came from other local schools as well.
There was a reunion of past pupils on 19 June 1988. A fete was held and the classrooms were opened for ex students to see the changes that had taken place over time.
In 1991 the Infants and Primary departments merged to become a united school.
During the early 1990s many changes were made to the school. In the playground the incinerator and climbing equipment were demolished to make it a safer, more spacious place to play. Due to smaller enrolment numbers, the spare classrooms were used to expand the library so it could become a learning and technology centre to meet growing and changing student needs.
In 1993 there was another reunion that included a dinner at St George Leagues Club.
MacKenzie Hall was built in 2002 and officially opened in 2003. At the request of the students it was named MacKenzie Hall in honour of Marilyn MacKenzie a former Assistant Principal of the school.
The school community has always worked together to provide a relevant curriculum, complementary up to date resources and a safe, attractive learning environment.
Information on early history from Onwards and Upwards 1922 – 1988.